Class #2054

Re-Align your Body

25 min - Class


Re-educate your body and alignment in this therapeutic Mat workout with Niedra Gabriel. She focuses on waking up the muscles that have been dormant so the body can rebuild and repair. Learning how to work in correct alignment will help the body to support your joints in the correct way so you are free to move without pain.
What You'll Need: Mat, Yoga Strap, Yoga Block, Table Chair


Read Full Transcript

Good evening with this beautiful sunset. Oh my goodness. And all the birds behind us. I'm going to be working with Jennifer here and we actually going to do a short therapeutic program. Um, mostly focusing into the hips and the pelvis, which for most of us are not stable. Jennifer is an athlete and a super advanced professional who is also become weaken or hips used to be a professional dancer. And sometimes when you work these hyperextension joints and alignment the body, the joints get weak. So these are things to help stabilize, get the hips correctly in the socket to the bar and re trigger muscles so that they're holding the body correctly. Um, cause she has been having some hip pain and diminishing range of movement.

And the, all of this is very correctable when you re fire and reeducate the body to hold the joint the right way. So even if there's joint region degeneration instead of rushing off to do some catastrophic corrections, you get the joint backward needs to be, you get the muscles stimulated and working and the body does want to rebuild and repair. It's quite amazing what the body will do. So Jennifer, I want you with your feet exactly parallel. I'm taking the line of her foot from her outer heel to a little toe for many, many people. This feels pigeonholed. Um, and the shape of the feet literally change over time. When you do this regularly and her knees are, this is straight forward from the hips. Let's get, we'll put this here first and all you're going to do is squeeze. Now I want the same thing there and relax your stomach and just relax all this powerhouse. We work so hard.

Make the hips do the work and just hold it and hold it. No, just continuous squeeze to hold it. So we're starting to anchor those bones in and make the muscles that keep the bones anchored stimulated. They often don't that it's, we want this sacred now soften there. So we're getting the curves here and the back soft and long and keep checking that you're not holding in the stomach. We tend to with so trained me to, to hold the stomach and lift up the back.

We want those hips starting to really get good. So we're probably doing this for about little over a minute. And then let me see while you're taking a little and then rest. Very good. How did that feel? More fatiguing than I expected. Yes, that is a good sign. That means now you will do the same but pressing out.

So let's get the feet in. Just a regular strap. A towel. We want the feet. They again, they will feel like they're going in. We want the hips going straight forward. Now this is going to be, you can do this just sitting on the side of a chair. Rock your pelvis forward. So we are arching, but not this Jennifer.

It's not here where we think we want to. We want to hinge it. Yes. Check that you're not gripping in your stomach. I think I want this a little bit more. Released your knees for a second so I can tighten it a little. And now you press out and make sure that you're there.

Yes, yes. So we actually placing the pelvis straight down and starting to work the pressure out, keeping the feet going straight ahead and check, keep checking that you're not gripping in your, your back is relaxed, your stomach is relaxed. It's only the legs that are working, unwinding. Fabulous. Yes, that, that's excellent because it's going to reset the priorities of the messages that are going through your nervous system. And if I look at you right now and you're not, um, you're definitely, there's a twist going. This knee wants to go that way, that no, don't fix it. Let your body be, but I can see the twisting that happening in you. This leg is much more straight forward. Actually.

Maybe we will do that. So you want there now the knee. So all I'm doing with her, making sure the knees are going straight forward from the hips and the feet, the goat are going straight forward. These joints are supposed to work like pendulum straight forward, but we get twists in, he rotates out, the foot collapses down. We adjust by dropping the arch and pronating the foot or supinated and the system starts to fall down. Very common, but we can fix it.

Wow. Around just a little bit more. And then relax. And let's get your feet out of here and I'm going to move the Andis. Good. Put the Mat. Oh No, let's have you right. Kneeling down, facing here. You will be like this kneeling with your hands up here.

Your knees, right? I would get the knees a little closer together. Not No, no, not together. Right under your hips. And I'm placing this block right. Be in between the ankle. Do not grip your stomach. Do Not Tuck your bottom under. Thank you. So you're not working in your buttocks, you're just very natural. Now squeeze your heels together and just work in the heels.

But tell me where you are. Feeling yourself work and you just squeeze and hold. I feel the seams of my legs working in seems kind of the inner gluteals. Okay, so going all the way up to the glutes and I released the muscles and what you're going to do is 20 squeezes. So you squeeze and release, but the focus is the squeeze happening in the ankles and it will probably ride all the way up the late into the glutes, but they are trying to get the squeezed apnea check that you're not tucking your pelvis and that you're not um, gripping your stomach to make the movement work. It comes from the feet. So a lot of this is retraining for our muscle priority to wake up muscles that have been dormant for a long time and start to rebalance how the body takes movement.

Very good and relax. Okay, let's get the block out from underneath and have you lined down, I'm going to move this to the side. I'd like you lying down on your back with your feet up against the wall and I wanted to have it exactly a 90 degree angle. So the thigh is going straight down into the hip. I would move a little bit further out. We have the window ledge here, but that doesn't matter. I'm again watching from the heel to the little toe.

It's making a straight line very often at first because the leg bones and muscles have become very twisty to solve problems. It starts extremely pigeon toed and then the whole skeleton starts to reorganize. Now relax. You will have your hands 45 degree, 45 degree, nice and soft. Relax your belly, relax your bottom. Do not try to push anything into the floor and float both knees towards each other and as you float, your feet will stay and then you're going to open both knees and the f you will rock onto your outer foot as you do it and bring your knees together and take your knees out. Now as you do this, all you do is you focus on the fact that the movement is happening only in the hip, not so.

That's why the foot joint is nice and stable and keep moving so and don't push but want to start to get a very a sensation of even right and left side check that you're not tucking your pelvis and that you're not using anything abdominal only to make this movement happen. Very good. Keep going and keep checking these feet because they will tend to want to roll out for some people, not for everybody. We usually within three or four, the feet start to go cause the body's trying to solve the problem by going back to the old pattern. And we want to keep retraining all the connective tissue and all the bone alignment to be right. Center to the weightbearing joints are weightbearing properly.

Yes. So very simple way to start to reset the hips back. Very good for you to do every day. Now pause. So we started and we started close. Now we're going to go wide. Same exercise. And just as a note, if you have pain back off the pain, this isn't about pushing into pain.

This is allowing the body to recalibrate so that in a week or two you won't have pain. Um, so don't force it. And I say this cause she's an athlete and I have the same psychological makeup. How to push through anything. Oh, it just hurts a little bit. But sometimes it's not the wisest thing to do. We need to kind of reeducate versus just persist.

Totally relaxed. Yes. And that's another thing we're so used to like using muscle and even the legs, they are floating the joints in the socket and you want to be sure you're not adjusting things in your back. Again, nice even right and left side. And in your case your feet are doing very well, but you see that starting to turn out. So you want to keep checking visually and putting the feedback so they're going straight ahead. Yeah. And this'll be your last one. Bring yourself back to the middle.

Get yourself into that 90 degree angle. Bring the feet closer together so that the legs are going straight forward. And this is just a little, I think I'd want you here. Check that your back is relaxed, your stomach is relaxed. Bring your hands, clasp your hands and lift them up right over your shoulders.

Now take your arms over your head and bring the arms back up and take the arms back and bring the arms back up. So this is just starting to reset the shoulder girdle and the shoulder joints, which often get, you know, all sorts of funky things happen with the shoulders. So you can keep your elbows straight as you do this and come back up and press out and make sure you're not holding your stomach and you're not holding your back. So sometimes people have very tight lats and tight connection into the armpit and this will start to loosen that area up. Interesting.

Cause they have a definite relationship between the hip and the shoulder. On the right side. I can feel the system continue to unwind. So Jennifer said she can definitely feel the relationship between the right shoulder and the right hip and the right hip is continuing to unwind and reset. So there's a whole unraveling of the nerves. Seems extremely simple and basic, but very profound. And one more time like this.

Okay. Now you will take your hands and curl the toes. Fingers under. So the thumbs bring the hands to here. So they kind of on the sides of your temples. Yes. We'll get my mess out of the way and the elbows will touch the floor. Check that the shoulders are nice and down.

Now see if you can bring both elbows towards each other and if possible, your elbows will be opposite your chin, so a little higher without your traps jumping into play and take the elbows out. Again, very even, and I know that she can use this because her head tends to go off to one side, so there's an imbalance in this upper part of the body and this again helps to restore the correct range of movement into the shoulders and in relationship to the neck while keeping the hips and pelvis very nice and stable. Double-Check you're not holding your stomach and that you're not tucking your tail because I think you're a bit of a Tuckie. You rip in order to make everything strong and that's partly because the joint isn't sitting correctly. Very nice. If just a few more times like this and this will be your last one. Very good. All right, let's have you come up to a sitting position and what you will do, I'll just demonstrate very quickly for you, you will be sitting, you can do this on a chair. We'll bring this over here in a minute. Ideally, hips, knees, feet, all going straight.

You want to have this little rock forward in the sacrum, not the arch of the back. This is the tricky. This is what we do. So we are getting it in the waist area. No, you want it here, right at the top of the sacred. And then the stomach is very relaxed so we're not kind of holding and lifting. And the shoulders will be over the front of the hips here. So from this position you'll have the same hand position out to the side and then squeeze the shoulder blades together without hiking the rib cage up.

So shoulder blades, and then you will do 25 little circles. So let's move this right onto your little mat and you'll sit on your little chair. Your feet are going straight forward. I want to see this little, yes, it's going to feel unusual at first. And I'm putting a block between your knees can be a little pillow at home. So we are looking, the knee caps are going straight forward right now.

It looks a bit odd because her legs had been made very strong in another shape, but this is correct. Kneecap is going straight forward. Straight down over the middle. Make these fists out to the side. Now I'm pushing her sacred forward. Relax your belly. Let go, let it. Yes. Just let her belly flop out. I want that right now.

All this training. Yes. So now these muscles start to work in the sacred and the adductors are working. Squeeze your shoulder blades. Re more. That's it. But do not take the hands back just to squeeze those shoulder blades. They atrophy on the best of us.

And now little circles going forward. Keep squeezing those shoulder blades. Relax your belly. Let the belly, yes, so the trunk muscles and keep the hands right to the side so the right arm can go further back. That's it. You can drop here so you're not working in the trapezius. Some people can even lift this up without hiking into the trapezius muscles. So you start and it's good to chest this one in front of a mirror because you don't want to be working like this. You want to be working evenly, right?

Elbows long and straight. Squeeze those shoulder blades together. Relax the belly, relax it and don't hike. No, bring the ribs back. Okay. And rest. Adjusting her back again. He's going back into her Archie strong power woman position. Sacred rocks. Forward Belly Sa. Yes, there we go. Now your spine is straight and long and much more natural position now, same position, but you turn the palms up and elbows along.

Squeeze the shoulder blades together. She want you to see how you squeezed. You went hike, no hike. Just shoulder blades. Just, just, just belly soft. Sacred forward. Not here. Yeah. Yes, yes. Different muscle groups. Okay girl. Now you're going to be circling that way.

This is trapezius muscles soft squeezing those shoulder blades together. [inaudible] he pinching the shoulder blade. Yes. Now she's now she just moved another two inches with a shoulder blades together. She couldn't get it before cause the muscles were not working. Watch those ribs. Don't throw them out in front of you. That's it. Keep this, the lower pelvis, the sacred, rocking forward, soft in the rib cage and then relax. Okay. How did that feel? Very strange.

[inaudible] I know. Very strange, very odd. You will start to feel the upper back start to fire so much better and in a new way. Cause the rhomboid muscles for most everybody, a very um, atrophy. They don't get worked and we keep broadening the back in my, in my drastic spot. Wonderful. Now next one we will use, let me get you have a block. Let's get another block.

So the next one actually the next three exercises we were going to do is again to reset the shoulder in the socket, widen the shoulder and relax the rib cage a little bit. Also relax your lower back and the way the hips are in the socket. So you will be lying on your stomach with these blocks. And we're going to see if we have the blocks this way or this way under your forearm. And I want your feet turned in so the big toes are touching.

The heels are rolled out a little bit more row internally rotated so that the pelvis is completely soft and you let the stomach drop down. This is a great polarities class, right that your stomach and drop. So here we are, I think will do you like that so your elbows are straight. You will work externally rotating right from me and make sure that everything is strong. Everything else is relaxed. You relax your belly, relax your lower back, you let your legs roll in. It allows the pelvis to sit the way it's supposed to and just work in the shoulders, letting the chest drop.

You don't force anything. This is a form of unwinding except for the retraining of the bone right here says Jennifer's holding this position. What happens to most of us is the bone and the arms internally rotate thanks to computer and modern civilized life and for most everybody now this is falling forward, which is a really chronic condition. This is universally everywhere. And this internal rotation means that there's more trouble with the elbow, more trouble with the risks in the hands. Of course, the whole structure is no longer connecting into the trunk correctly. So we're starting to connect and reeducate different muscle groups to hold the arm wide and open and it allows the spine to reset as well.

And I can see your arm jumping a little bit, which makes me know that her nerves are triggering a new program, which is a good thing to again, unwind the old program and add in more new PR, new connections and new orientations because the nervous system is always trying to figure out how to balance everything out. Now next one. Uh, Jennifer, we're going to take your arms out. Same thing, but at about, oh, how can I say? Maybe a 45 angle out here. Not Exact, but again, you int you rotate, that's it. And you let the chest be relaxed.

You let the belly be relaxed and she's doing very nicely. I can see her whole pelvis actually starting to reposition itself and you work in the deltoids and the arm bones to externally rotate and really if you're doing this at home, you'd hold it for about a minute in each one of these positions. Again, it doesn't seem like much is happening, but if you try it, you may be quite surprised maybe even how hard it is or how much you want to grip or the fact that you can really feel the whole rib cage and the relationship of the arms to the rib cage and to the lowest fine shift. Then the last one we'll do from this set, Jennifer is right to the side, so I'll adjust to now it's exactly a 90 degree angle. Yes, you want to keep rolling and you use it from the shoulder that the shoulder, deltoid muscles are externally rotate. Everything else is relaxing so the buttocks are relaxed, the belly is relaxed and you just allow, and I can see a lot of movement happening in her right arms.

I know the right arm is again, unwinding and shifting. And because she has these hyper extended elbows, I know some muscles are very active and other muscles are rather dormant and we're wanting to reshift this and that will really pull the bones into a different place, be more stable and a lot is happening. Who said she had hip problems? Got Shoulder. Oh, okay. Jennifer, you can push back into child's pose and come and sit up. Very good. And why don't you, I'm going to come up close. Why don't you share what this was like for you?

Well, I felt an entire train attention through. I've had rib injuries as well as been dropped from this and I could feel it right underneath the back of my rib cage. And then extending from this little finger, this finger position is really important. Um, and I felt it reach all the way into the front of my hip. So that whole line. And then I also felt stuff unraveling behind my occiput and into my cervical spine as well. Wow. So a lot happened. It didn't look like much, but a lot happens.

So have fun. I hope you find this useful to you. So for healthy people, it's useful if you have shoulder problems, hip problems, knee problems, ankle problems, it quite surprising. So good luck. Let me know if you notice something. I always like to get feedback and enjoy. Thank you.


Jo-Anne Callaghan
Great Class. thank you
1 person likes this.
Another genius Niedra class!!!
Thank you Niedra: lots of myofascial lines being unravelled and many concepts straight from osteopathy being used here. Thanks for high lighitng that sometimes we need to let go before we can go forward with pilates.
Niedra! This is fascinating! Did you learn these exercises or invent them? I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for sharing this work.
2 people like this.
Wow, this really feels different and great! I'm excited to keep up with it--I really have weak and lopsided hip adductors and I also sit at a computer for so many hours every day. I think this will really help. Thanks so much, Niedra--I love your work!
Niedra Gabriel
Love reading all these concepts and so happy you are all interested . As the video was filmed a while back I need to watch it to see what I did ( !!! ) but looking at the photo I know I was using some of the work from Pete Egoscue, who has some very interesting therapy work to re establish the stabilizers in the body and rebalance the muscles and skeleton. I highly recommend reading his books, one is called " The Egoscue method of Health through motion". I like his work and this book is thorough, as he talks about how various conditions ( like cartilage wearing down, spondilothesis and other conditions) normally considered irreversible, are correctable, with right rebalancing of the body.
(this is my kind of belief system too.) So - this is some of my inspiration.
Enjoy " the journey " I am just a student, learning all the time, like all of you...
Kinney F
Thank you for sharing these exercises. I did them and they were great! Really helpful for my shoulders especially. I will definitely look into the book you suggested. Exciting that the spondys can be reversed!
This is a great class. I felt so relaxed after completing the class it was the first time that I did not have any lower back pain from tightness and disc buldges. More please!
Love these exercises....can't wait to share and read the Egoscue Method book. Thank you for sharing. I am grateful for your enthusiasm.
2 people like this.
This is wonderful. BUT the best part is the presenter. It is so easy to spend time with you, as you present with such a warm and relaxed way. I love your style and your material.
Thank You from Rachel in England
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